Waving farewell to the series after this game, it stands to reason that Bungie wanted to leave no stone unturned and depart on a high note. While it might not be the most innovative in the series, Halo Reach is absolutely jammed to the gills with content and replayablity. Cue the spartan wanna-be’s lining up in times square to purchase the game at midnight followed by a 14 hour multiplayer bender fueled by cheeto’s and mountain dew. Cue the millions of unwashed hoards crowding a gamestop on Tuesday morning. I could sit here and write all about the story line or the games specific mechanics..but I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you probably get it by now.
Bungie’s last shot at the impressive Halo series is arguably their best. Whether you want to spend time in multiplayer, tackle the campaign or just have fun with some friends in firefight, theirs something here for pretty much every Halo fan. It’s not going to blow your doors off with new styles and different gameplay, when something works this well, you don’t mess with it. Halo always stays pretty much the same, it would be crazy to change it. Expect the same weapons with minimal additions, the same enemies and the same slowish but entertaining shooting mechanics. Visually it’s Bungie’s best work. The singleplayer is tons of fun with some of the best set pieces in gaming. They vary the levels up and your teammates (fellow spartans) actually have some creative personalities. Motion blur and awesome texture work help elevate Halo Reach above the criticism of the previous games visuals. What else do you want to hear? You probably know if you’re going to buy this game. I can’t imagine someone who’s on the fence at this point and turn. Yes. Go buy this game.
Oddly, the single player difficulty seems to have been given a shot in the arm. For a series that I’ve completely consistently on the Legendary difficulty, I was scratching my head and bashing my face against my television at some tough spots. Those Elites sure have strong shields. Either that or this machine gun is shooting 22’s. The starting submachine gun ins’t worth its weight in feces. You’d do more damage if you broke it down and fed to the elites. Two and a half clips later and you’re still just hitting shield. At some points in this game, I had to take some time off from the game, lest I smash my television and 360 to tiny pieces. This actually makes the brute encounters much more fun, and thankfully the flood and absent from Halo Reach. The game does introduce a different special ability mechanic in the single player and multiplayer. While multiplayer is split into classes each with their own unique ability (bubble shield, jet pack) they are actually pick-ups in the single player. You can base your strategy around your ability and particularly useful ones like the hologram can help get you out of some sticky situations. It’s a nice little touch in a series that hasn’t changed much over the years.
I think Bungie wouldn’t disagree with a lot of the criticism for Halo ODST and they have stepped their game up for this one last go. Apparently they still had one in the chamber, because Halo Reach is worth your time and money. Confirmed jet packs, what else do I have to say? If you’ve ever enjoyed a Halo game, you’re probably going to like this one a whole lot. If you’re like me and the series has been sort of hit and miss, you’re still going to like this game a whole lot. It’s a shame to know the next Halo game isn’t going to be made by the boys at Bungie, but lets just take this for what it is and enjoy the last offering, because it’s a hell of a game.
[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]